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Library preps for final chapter of $2M renovation

Members of the Board of Trustees of the Shelby County Public Library toured the Carnegie East Wing following their meeting Tuesday evening, here admiring a display dedicated to local veterans. The CEW and the library’s new plaza are to be formallydedicated on July 23.

By JOHN WALKER - jwalker@shelbynews.com

In less than two weeks, many months of work and planning at the Shelby County Public Library will come to a close.

At 4 p.m. on July 23, the library, 57 W. Broadway St., will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to open its new Community Plaza and the renovated Carnegie East Wing.

“We’re going to have cake and light refreshments,” Janet Wallace, director of the library told the Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday evening.

City and county elected officials, and state representatives for Shelby County, have been invited to attend, she said, along with representatives from the Indiana State Library.

Local musicians Buck Rogers Jr., along with special guests Denise Tinsley-White and Erich Davies, are scheduled to perform on the plaza stage.

The public is invited to the free open house event.

Formally begun about 2 years ago, the $2 million renovation project included construction of the plaza space, completing renovation of the Carnegie East Wing, 33 W. Broadway St., and expanding the rear parking lot.

In addition, the main library building got a new roof, and a new heating and air conditioning system. Also, new copper shingles now cover the dome over the 115-year-old original structure.

A few items still remain to be done, Wallace told the library trustees, such as replacing drop ceiling tiles in parts of the building.

The Friends of the Library, a volunteer group that raises money to support the library, will be setting up a permanent book store in the Carnegie wing over the coming days, she said.

In other matters, the library trustees approved a budget for 2019.

“Everything is right below a 3 percent increase, salaries and budget,” said Wallace.

The trustees also approved purchasing a new computer for Laura Guenin, public relations director of the library, at a cost of $1,253.